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CFLs vs. LEDs: It’s Getting Heated

8 May 2009

It seems that all I read about these days is the fierce marketing battle happening between up-and-coming LED (light emitting diode) light bulb manufacturers who are trashing (literally) compact fluorescent light bulbs, and the CFL manufacturers who are claiming better quality and affordability.  Of course, it could be the blogs that I hang around, but the Green Inc. blog on the New York Times has been a flurry of activity around this issue.  This is not as objective an issue as one would think.

Think about choosing a light bulb – do you just grab any old one off the shelf and run for it?  Many of us have light bulb preferences, for certain colors, shapes, applications and strengths.  I talk to people who are passionately dedicated to warm white dimmables, some who are looking for covered bulbs to clip shades on, others who want a certain strength of light.  And, of course, there is the mercury issue, which I really think I’ve said enough about for the moment.  When it comes to evaluating which bulbs are best, energy isn’t the only consideration – it’s quality.

I recommend checking the amount of lumens that a bulb delivers.  It seems that while some LEDs may indeed use a tremendously small amount of energy, they may not be emitting as much light as you would like for the cost:

For starters, the advertised light output of the Pharox is about 300 “lumens” — the metric used for measuring the light coming off a bulb. That places it somewhere between a 25-watt and 40-watt incandescent. A 60-watt incandescent emits up to 900 lumens.

Are you using LEDs?  What has been your experience?

:: Light Bulb Makers Talking Trash, Racing to Building a Better Light Bulb

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